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Covers story: Issue one

Submitted by on August 10, 2019 – 9:20 amNo Comment

Banner at Old Trafford, 24 Hour Peterloo Peace People

A collection of former MUFC fanzine writers and assorted hangers-on had decided to do our own publication, as a fundraiser for FC United, during the summer of 2008, following the ostracising of the club by one of the main Manchester United fanzines.

It was also a way of using our skills and talents, and in some cases both, for something lovely and in keeping with the great traditions we had all been raised on.

We asserted early on that there would be no editor and it would be run co-operatively. This has caused problems, but we think we have done alright in the end.

The release date of the first ever AFLM:SPG was timed by accident, as the first FC United home game of the 2008-9 season was on the anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. August 16th.

Once we realised this twist of fate, we wanted to mark it. Therefore we sought an apt front cover picture to show the link with our red history and its effects on our city.

FC United board member Doc Adam Brown had the only picture we could find of the ‘24 hour Peterloo Peace People’ banner once held aloft at Old Trafford in support of the anti-war movement and we felt this fitted the bill.

Years earlier a group of reds had been present at the first anti-war demo in London as the country’s leaders were in the process of lying us into a second assault on Iraq. The media performed an amazing blackout, even more spectacular than that which faced the NHS rally in Manchester during the Tory conference a few weeks ago.

An estimated 1,000,000 people had marched through London, yet it barely received a cursory mention in any of the main media outlets of the time.

The second planned march coincided with a United game at Old Trafford. Therefore we couldn’t be at the demo, yet still wished to show our support for the anti-war movement, letting the watching world know how Manchester felt. It was also an opportunity to get the message across live on television with the authorities unable to block off any such sporadic demonstration.

Therefore, a slogan was thought up by a former UWS contributor and Lung creator. A very young Foundafiver, of Red Issue fame, painted the words onto a stolen Manchester Council direct works dust sheet. The writing is testament to Foundies’s mental age, rather than his biological one.

Anyone doubting this can clearly see this expertly demonstrated in the cartoon ‘P’s and the small ‘r’ in Peterloo.

He painted it in his back garden and left it out to dry. Except it was minus degrees and therefore the paint never dried. Foundies turned up at the game with black hands.

It was decided to hang the banner on the Stretford End, where the 30-odd years countdown banner was usually placed. We knew this would guarantee television coverage, as the years banner was always visible when the BBC had their experts in the media box in the corner.

Our banner came down perfectly as Alan Hansen and Peter Schmeichel were parroting away at half time. It was only there for a few seconds, before the stewards lost the plot.

One of the reds’ cousins was a photographer and was tipped off, therefore we had a picture to record the moment for posterity.

That pic found its way onto the first ever cover of A Fine Lung. Very apt we thought. It is still the only time that picture has been officially published in all its glory. And to make it extra nice, you can see the young Foundies still tying the banner as the stewards descend… If it had been a criminal case, he was fucked due to the black hands…

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